I had a student recently getting her open water certification who had never put on a pair of fins before.
She struggled with skills as we practiced them. No matter what, she was just not getting it.
At one point, as we were in the deep end of the pool, she had a panic attack. Luckily, we were all on the surface.
As I corralled the other students and kept them busy practicing their skills, the instructor worked with her. He had her lie on her back and float. He kept telling her very calmly, just take a deep breath.
It worked. It took about 10 minutes to calm down. This was a turning point for her for the day.
Not only did she complete all the skills after that properly, she did so while remaining neutrally buoyant and off the bottom of the pool. Performing the skills is one thing, doing it while being able to hover 3 to 5 feet off the bottom is an order of magnitude harder for new divers.
She was able to do all of this because she paused, cleared her mind, and took a deep breath or two.
Until next time,
I <3 |<